The Time of Our Singing

The Time of Our Singing

Book - 2003
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A magnificent, multifaceted novel about a supremely gifted - and divided - family, set against the backdrop of postwar America On Easter day, 1939, at Marian Anderson's epochal concert on the Washington Mall, David Strom, a German Jewish émigré scientist, meets Delia Daley, a young Philadelphia Negro studying to be a singer. Their mutual love of music draws them together, and - against all odds and better judgment - they marry. They vow to raise their children beyond time, beyond identity, steeped in song. But their three children must survive America's brutal here and now. Jonah, Joseph, and Ruth growup during the Civil Rights era, come of age in the violent 1960s, and live out adulthood in the racially retrenched late century. Jonah, the eldest, "whose voice could make heads of state repent," follows a life in his parents' beloved classical music. Ruth, the youngest, chooses a militant activism and repudiates the white culture her brother represents. Joseph, the middle child and the narrator of this generational tale, struggles to remain connected to them both. The Time of Our Singing is a story of self-invention, allegiance, race, cultural ownership, the compromised power of music, and the tangled loops of time that rewrite all belonging.
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2003.
ISBN: 9780374277826
0374277826
Characteristics: 631 p. ;,24 cm.

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Chapel_Hill_KenMc Dec 17, 2014

Richard Powers is a genius. Here he tackles a four-part theme: the beauty and power of music, the intransigence and tragedy of racism, the strength and faultlines of family, and the mystery of time and causation. It all fits together in beautiful harmony.

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